Nicobar pigeons spotted in Con Dao National Park

The Nicobar pigeon, a species noted as globally endangered, has been spotted in Con Dao National Park in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
A Nicobar pigeon (Photo: VNA)
A Nicobar pigeon (Photo: VNA)

The Nicobar pigeon is one of the most beautiful of the many species of pigeons and is the only living member of the genus Caloenus. They are mainly found on Nicobar Island, the southwest peninsular of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Solomans and Palau.

Slightly larger than other pigeons, they have a dark grey body with lustrous metallic blue-green and copper-bronze upperparts. It can easily be distinguished by its glistening mane-like neck hackles and sharply contrasting white tail coverts and tail. Females are smaller than males with shorter neck hackles and brown under parts.

Each nest of the Nicobar pigeon only has one white egg. Young pigeons are born dull grey without the neck hackles and a bronzy green tail instead of white.Nicobar pigeons prefer to feed entirely on the ground, picking fruits and seeds off the forest floor.

Their numbers in the wild are declining as they have been captured for food, pet trade and their gizzard stones which are used to make jewelry.In Con Dao, the birds mostly reside on Bay Canh Island.

Le Hong Son, head of the Preservation and International Cooperation at Con Dao National Park, said the park is building a plan to preserve the species, while strengthening communications to encourage the community to protect the bird.